The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 31:1-9 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more. Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
Toward the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis, we read that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are crowned as kings and queens of Narnia. Though Aslan was THE KING, he saw fit to allow the others to rule alongside him, saying “Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen. Bear it well, Sons of Adam! Bear it well, Daughters of Eve!” Through his wisdom, walk, and ultimately his sacrifice, Aslan taught the 4 children how to rule with justice, honor, dignity, and sacrificial love. He waged war to defeat evil, set the White Witches captives free, establish peace in Narnia, and set Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy over Narnia to tend it, keep it, and do justice, as stewards, kings and queens.
Brothers and sisters, has this business not been laid at our feet? As children of the Most High God, servants of King Jesus, have we not been entrusted with the sacred, solemn task of opening our mouths for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate? Have we not been called to judge righteously and to defend the rights of the afflicted and needy? Does not this counsel in the proverb today, from a mother to a son, apply to us, not just as good advice for Christian living, but as a charge directly to those God has chosen out of this world to take dominion and wage war as kings?
Revelation 1: 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The charge to vindicate the weak and the fatherless, to do justice to the afflicted and the destitute, to rescue the weak and the needy, and deliver them out of the hands of the wicked, is for us, as kings and priests of the Most High God by the blood of the Lamb, King Jesus. Every place upon which the soles of our feet tread, Jesus has said “Mine!”. There is no place, no stronghold, no idea, no dark corner, no philosophy, no sidewalk, no workplace, no carved out location on earth, or in your mind, where Jesus Christ does not command His people to “Go therefore”. At Sovereign King Church, we are very good at seeing the dangers and pitfalls in the culture around us, and stepping into the fray as ambassadors for Christ. Whether it is at the abortion clinic pleading for the lives of the unborn, at the Jeffersonville Pride rally encouraging men and women to look unto Jesus, or in Thailand, providing much needed relief to impoverished folks lacking basic necessities, we faithfully go though many enemies sometimes rise up. We do not shrink back from these very grand, public, tangible areas of ministry. We are obedient to the praise and glory of King Jesus. Amen, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord. But what about the places where no one is really looking? Are you fulfilling the charge of a king and priest of the Most High in your workplace? Your neighborhood? Among your lost family and friends? How about your mind? Do you take dominion over your thoughts, lusts, and passions? Are your affections and desires driven by Christ, or by your own insatiable lusts and desires? Has your desire for the next big battle led to the neglect of your kingly duties in your everyday, mundane life? Are you drawn to the big Super Bowl Sized ministry opportunities, to the neglect of those trapped in bondage sitting right next to you?
Brothers and sisters, where we serve King Jesus, as kings and priests, NEVER has to be an either/or proposition. However, because of sin, we sometimes fall into the trap of pursuing the next big thing, while neglecting the routine, everyday opportunities to take dominion, believing that bigger, grander, more exciting ministries have more eternal value and bang for the buck. Have you neglected the routine? Have you fallen into the trap of believing that bigger event means more glory for Christ, so you choose the bigger, to the neglect of the seemingly mundane? Let me ask: What ministry could be more fulfilling, more satisfying, and more glorifying to God, than to minister day after day, week after week, rejection after rejection, to that lost friend, coworker, family member, or person sitting next to you? Jesus came to set the captives free, to seek and save the lost, to proclaim freedom to those oppressed by sin and death. Proclaiming His blood shed for the remission of sins, and His resurrection from the dead, the gospel, is the most God Glorifying mission you can be a part of, and the field of battle is everywhere your foot treads. Let us not neglect this High Calling that we have been charged with. Let us not neglect those around us in our everyday who are trapped in bondage and going to hell. This is the true battlefield, is it not? Heaven or hell. Life or death. Children of wrath or children of the promise. Speaking on a personal level, I find it easier to street preach at a hostile event, than I do to preach the gospel to my coworkers. I find it easier to speak the truth on facebook, than I do to speak words of peace to my next door neighbor. I find it easier to fill up my personal calendar with visits to the nursing home, than I do to speak the truth to my own extended family who have shown an aversion to the truth. We are not called to a life of ease. We are called to follow Jesus, Who said that He came not to bring peace, but a sword. We are called to endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, our King! Let us kneel, if able, and repent where we have fallen short of His glory.
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are eternally grateful for your mercy towards us sinners. We are forever thankful that You have called us weak, sinful worms out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Father, we long to follow Your Son. Our hearts desire is to please You, yet we often go and do to the neglect of those going to hell all around us. Father, oftentimes we chose a grand path, which winds up being a path of ease meant to satisfy our conscience, to the neglect of the next door neighbor or coworker. Frequently, because we are cowards, we gravitate towards ministry which is comfortable for us, rather than trusting You and stepping into the Jordan, forgetting that wherever our feet tread, You are with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. Please forgive us for our sins against You. Please help us to have courage in our everyday lives. Please forgive us where we have shrunk back from conflict in our everyday lives, and chose paths free from warfare instead. It’s in the Name of Your precious Son Jesus that we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!